Why is loosening concealed carry rules tops on their to-do list?

    President Barack Obama delivered a heartfelt and at times emotional farewell speech in Chicago earlier this week, meaning the countdown is inching closer to zero for those who have despised him since the moment he was elected eight years to turn their frowns upside-down, when President-elect Donald Trump officially takes office.

    Among the many reasons these people can’t stomach Obama – aside from the obvious one – is a belief prevalent throughout his two terms in office that he was going to send jack-booted thugs to bust through the doors of homes owned by law-abiding, taxpaying citizens and seize all of their firearms.

    That never happened, of course. But Obama’s biggest detractors will now say it’s a moot point, at best.

    The larger point here is, if you own one handgun for home protection, a rifle or two for hunting, or an arsenal large enough to outfit a small army, you are in no danger now – nor were you in any danger during Obama’s presidency – of having anyone take any of your guns. These are good times for firearms buffs in these here United States of America, and the times are likely to escalate to great, stellar and maybe even euphoric once Trump settles into the White House.

    Think about how easy it is to not only own guns but bring them with you when you leave your house. Thirty-nine states presently allow concealed-carry licenses for people who are at least 21 years of age, and in 25 states, the age threshold drops to 18.

    But that’s apparently not good enough for a group of Republican lawmakers in our neighbor to the west, North Dakota. Led by Republican State Rep. Rick Becker of Bismarck, they’re pushing legislation that would allow North Dakota gun owners 21 or older to carry their weapon concealed, without a permit.

    The current permitting process would remain in place, Becker said in a news story earlier this week, but that’s mostly so armed North Dakotans can continue to be armed when they enter other states where concealed-carry is allowed, with a permit, and not be in violation of that state’s law. Reciprocity apparently is a big deal to gun owners who choose not to leave their guns at home when they venture out.

    It almost begs the question asked in a famous scene from the classic 1987 Oliver Stone film, “Wall Street.”

    How much is enough? For gun owners in North Dakota who want their guns close by pretty much all the time, how much is enough? You don’t need to have a permit anymore? You don’t have to be educated one iota or receive one ounce of safety training before you’re allowed to take your gun with you to run some errands?     “How many yachts can you ski behind?” Bud Fox proceeds to ask Gordon Gekko in that iconic “Wall Street” scene. In North Dakota, apparently, the answer is as many yachts as possible.

    Hey, we get it, OK? If you’re out and about somewhere and a bad guy decides he wants to start shooting or stabbing a bunch of people, you want to be properly equipped to minimize the bloodshed by blowing him away. But is it too much to ask that you’re licensed to carry the thing you want to blow him away with?

    Another question might be something like, aren’t there higher priority issues facing North Dakota legislators? It makes a casual observer wonder who’s manning the puppet strings of these North Dakota legislators convinced that loosening concealed-carry rules is at the top of their to-do list.